Debt levels mounting in UK as borrowing hits new heights

Recent years has witnessed a lending boom in the UK, with borrowing at its highest levels since before the financial crash.

With debt levels so high it seems all sections of our society are being affected as more and more people in the UK start to struggle with the level of their debt.

Britain’s household debt mountain has reached a new peak, with UK homes now owing an average of £15,385 to credit card firms, banks and other lenders, according to the TUC.

The trade union body said household debt rose sharply in 2018 as years of austerity and wage stagnation forced households to increase their borrowing – and that has continued into 2019.

And it seems the younger generation is taking the brunt of this as typical borrowing for them starts at only 23 years old as graduates, as they are already facing £9,000 in fees alone a year.

By their late 20s we reach a borrowing peak (MoneySuperMarket) as our financial responsibilities start to kick in but people in the UK are an average of two years away from hitting the national average salary of £28,200.

However, with the average age of the first-time parent now be 32, many people are hitting a salary high only to immediately have it snatched away, either by maternity leave or the £230,000 it now costs to raise a child to their 21st birthday.

All this means that by the time we hit 35, we’re facing a financial meltdown – the peak age at which we are most likely to be juggling the cost of young children, mortgages and loan repayments for cars, holidays and weddings.

Not that borrowing stops there. In our late 30s, with larger house prices and the introduction of new stamp duty tariffs, families are less likely to take on new debt in a new home than they are to apply for a personal loan for home improvement, at least until aged 44, now the most common age for divorce.

And with the different age brackets there is a difference to what level and what kind of debt you could be in.

According to research by debt charity Step Change the people coming to them for advice are getting younger and younger, as almost two-thirds of their clients were under 40 over the past five years, and they have seen a 10% increase in the number of under 40s contacting them since 2013.

StepChange are also convinced that middle-age is when most people are likely to encounter a debt problem because of ill health. Even more than the over 60 age group.

They also state that over half of their clients in the 40 – 59 age bracket claim that ill health is the primary reason for being them in debt.

Ill health can lead to additional debt because of the loss of income from missing work, and measures that are taken to bridge the gap, such as taking out a payday loan, can make the problem worse.

A redundancy and a reduction in working hours can also lead to an increase in borrowing, and this working age group is most likely to be hit with both.

The debt burden for young people is growing, but debt is still a problem for the over 60 age group.

Research from Old Mutual Wealth, which was based on a YouGov survey of people aged 50 – 75, found that 30% of retirees were in debt and that one in ten owed over £100,000.

Debt for this age category included mortgages – with 21% of retirees still paying off their house after retirement – as well as credit and store cards (14%), and unsecured loans (6%).

The average debt owed by this age group was £34,600.

And Mark Baird (Insolvency manager at Get Help With Debt) – who has 15 years experience in the industry, says all age groups have been caught up in the debt trap in different ways.

“Twenty to 30-year olds would mainly have credit card debt or store card debts. They would have varying levels of debt. People could have around £6,000 and some can have over £20,000 of debt.

“You find that these people are not usually home owners and therefore they are struggling to clear their debts to allow them to save for a mortgage to get on the property ladder.

“They usually have just come out of university with high debts through bank loans. Not student loans but student loans they get from the bank. But you find that 20 to 30-year olds have been saddled with large debt from university and are finding it difficult to get out of that situation.

“We are in terrible economic times, so people should be trying to draw a line in the sand now so they can get rid of their debt and start saving for a house.

“Because it is a pointless exercise if you are paying for your debt and trying to save for a house. It is pointless because you are paying interest on your debts so you should clear your debts first and then save, rather than trying to clear your debts and save.

“Because your savings are not earning the kind of interest you are paying on your debt. You should get rid of your debt before you start saving,” he added.

Debt issues of 35 to 40-year olds?

“When we get to 35 to 40 years of age, these are usually people who have started families and got their foot on the property ladder, which means they have minimum equity because they have been in the house a short period of time.

“They then start a family and they start to borrow. And because they have a house, they find it easier to borrow. They can get loans, credit cards and start borrowing for the needs of the family.

“Maybe one is out of work to look after the kids, so they have to borrow again. Then when the partner returns to work, they find out that they have childcare costs.

“That eats into the budget and they are finding that they are using more credit to stay afloat. It then becomes a vicious circle because they are borrowing every month and then paying it back again. They are just paying the interest on it. These people generally have higher debts.

“These debts could be in the region of 20 to 40 thousand pounds, or even higher. They are home owners, so they have easier access to unsecured debts because lenders are more likely to lend if you have a property.

“They might want to grow their family and don’t have the money to do that or to improve where they live. It’s all about getting these people to realise that are they realistically going to be able to get out of their debt situation between five to six years or is it going to be as longer-term thing?

“Everyone thinks positively, and they never think they won’t get out of debt. The reality is that they will probably never get out of it. It is about pressing the reset button and drawing that line in the sand and trying to move on with their lives.

“Sometimes you have to stand still before moving forward. The reality is that they will fight it for years and it really is all about pressing that reset button.”

People in their 40’s and 50’s with debt issues?

“As for people in their 40’s and 50’s, they are like people in their 30’s. They are usually more established and have been fighting their debts over a few years.

“They are people who just can’t get of debt and have been fighting to pay it off. It can be more difficult because they have paid off part of their house and have equity. And on paper it looks as if they have an asset that is larger than their debt, so they are asset rich and cash poor.

“That doesn’t mean you can’t get out of the situation, but you should take advice. Everyone is different, every lender is different. You could have a lender who is good or a lender who is bad. But you will not know that yourself.

“You should just get professional help and talk to people who know what way the lender will respond. There is no real right or wrong answer, but you must look at the situation, speak to someone who knows what they are doing and how the lenders look at these things.”

People who are 60 plus?

“People who are 60 plus think that they should be retired by now and they may have more equity in their home, but you find the last thing they want to be doing is working into their 70’s.

“They need to see how they see their future going and there is no point in working until they are 75 and then looking at how to deal with their debts. Do it now and get professional advice and get it sorted out.

“Because they could just be working to repay their debts and they are getting no benefit from that.”

And remember lenders listen to advisers, negotiators and facilitators they respect. If the debtor’s case is made to them by professionals who have proven knowledge, they will do business.

Lenders know that a Get Help With Debt settlement proposal is only made after a thorough examination of all the facts.

Lenders want the issue resolved as much as you do. Get Help With Debt never makes judgments as we are all human and everyone makes mistakes! It’s how you fix those mistakes that matters.

We are Financial Conduct Authority regulated and if you find yourself in debt stress have a no obligation chat with one of our experienced advisors today on 02890 393626.

Northern Ireland debt figures are reaching new heights

Debt in Northern Ireland, like the rest of the UK, is rising with the average credit card debt per household standing at £2,653 in April 2019 according to www.themoneycharity.org.uk.

On top of that at the end of April people in the UK owed £1,637 billion in personal debt (Office for Budget Responsibility’s) and household debt is forecast to reach £2.4235 trillion in 2023-24.

And Credit card debt is the most common form of unsecured debt people are struggling with.

Almost two thirds of people in NI – 67.2% – who look for debt advice are dealing with more than £8000 in credit card debt they cannot afford.

And the number of people defaulting on their credit card debts soared in the first three months of this year, according to figures from the Bank of England.

Credit card lenders reported that defaults jumped to their highest level since the first half of 2017, following a deteriorating trend that dates back to last summer.

The default rate, which is calculated by the central bank based on a balance of responses from lenders, increased to 22.9% in the first quarter from 12.7% in the last quarter of 2018 and -11.2% in the third quarter of the same year. A positive figure indicates that the number of defaults has increased.

The last time the credit card default rate rose above 20% was in the second quarter of 2017, when it hit 25.4%.

With wage growth stagnating since the financial crisis ten years ago – there has been a -5.5% change in the average real wage figures since the pre-cash peak in February 2008- it is no surprise that people have been forced to turn to credit cards just to make ends meet.

And with no sign of wage growth, the situation will only spiral downward. To make matters worse, credit lending companies are releasing new offers to lure customers in. Deals like buy now pay later and 0% interest deals for short periods of time.

But with these deals it can be easy to misunderstand the complicated terms and conditions or overspend while trying to make the most of the offer. And if you are not careful to make repayments on time and in full, you can end up with your credit card debt getting out of control with interest payments accumulating and charges mounting.

Where can I get help?

Get Help With Debt typically achieves up to 90% debt write-off for their clients, many of whom had feared that they were beyond help.

To get the process started you can take our online assessment before booking your free, no-obligation consultation with one of our debt advisors at our Belfast office – beside the SSE Arena – to find out how we can help you?

Once you have spoken with your advisor by phone, we can present you with a range of bespoke solutions that will help you make an informed decision about what is the best way forward for you. We offer a range of options to meet the needs of our clients.

What options do we have to free you from your debt struggles?

1 Negotiated agreement with creditors

This is a way to reduce your debt repayment by explaining to your creditors you are having difficulties – but want to repay your debt as best as you can.

Creditors are likely to be open to negotiated reduced payments once you have proven hardships.

2 IVA

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement Is a formal agreement between you and your creditor and is seen as an alternative to bankruptcy.

In an IVA you make an offer to your creditors to repay a portion of your debt over a set period, which is generally five years for monthly contribution based IVA’s.  You can also propose a shorter IVA based on a lump sum offer.

If your IVA is approved by your creditors and you successfully pay all the funds you proposed, then at the end of the IVA any balances left on your debts are written off.

The IVA has to be voted on by your creditors and agreed by 75% by value of those creditors who vote.

3 Debt Relief Order

A DRO is a simplified, quicker and cheaper alternative to bankruptcy in the UK, suitable for debtors who have few or no assets (less than £1000 and not homeowners) and little disposable income (less than £50 per month).

The maximum level of debt that is allowed for this is £20000.

4 Debt Management Plan

With a debt management plan, you will have one monthly payment to worry about and you’ll only have to pay whatever is affordable for you until your debts have been cleared.

A DMA will also secure a lower overall interest rate than you had been on before.

5 Bankruptcy

There is no maximum or minimum amount of debt that can be included in a bankruptcy. However, a creditor can only issue a bankruptcy petition against you if you owe them £5000 or more.

Almost all debts can be included, some exceptions are student loans, court fines, or maintenance arrears, child support arrears, debts built up through fraud or debts arising from a personal injury claim.

Most bankrupts are discharged from their debts after one year but there can be exceptions to this. If you have surplus monthly income you are expected to pay this to your bankruptcy for three years.

You can petition for your own bankruptcy or a creditor can make you bankrupt but only if you owe them more than £5000.

6 Debt re-organisation/consolidation loan

A debt consolidation loan means taking out a new loan to pay off a number of liabilities and consumer debts, generally unsecured ones. In effect, multiple debts are combined into a single, larger piece of debt, usually with more favourable pay-off terms.

And CD Fairfield’s Tom Cardwell (Director) explains what they offer people who are struggling with debt.

“At Get Help with Debt we know that financial problems can affect people in all walks of life. That is why it is our aim is to support you and give you a stress-free journey away from their financial hardship.

“The first step of this journey is a chat with one of our debt advisors. Through the years our staff have overseen 35000 IVA’s with a combined experience of over 30 years dealing with this issue.

“We offer telephone and face to face advice totally free of charge. You will then be a given a dedicated and experienced case manager who will take away the stress of dealing with those dreaded letters and telephone calls from your creditors. Chat with us today to find out the best option for you,” he added.

What our clients have said about our service?

“I was finding it difficult to sleep with the stress of dealing with my creditors, but once I spoke to Craig he put me at ease that there were options available. Each step of the IVA process was fully explained and everyone who has worked on my case have been very kind and supportive. Thank you so much for giving me a chance to put an end to my debt problems.” Mr D Moore (Ballymena)

“We were having a difficult time and thought we would have to go bankrupt but were fearful of losing our home. We realised an IVA was a better option to deal with our debts and protect our home, so we were so happy it was approved. A special thank you to Emma who has been so helpful and a pillar of strength for me! Thanks to everyone for all your hard work.” E Marshall (Lisburn)

“Since my initial chat the whole service has been fantastic. I was totally lost with no idea what to do with my debts and Laura was so kind at sorting through my paperwork to figure everything out for me. I know it is only the start of my IVA but I now have hope that I will be debt free soon.” S Glynn (Dungannon)

“Thanks for taking away the hassle and worry of dealing with my creditors and I am determined to see this through. Everything was easier than I thought it was going to be, and it was nice to know that when you said we would get the paperwork that day we got it that day! “ L McAllister (Belfast)

“Everyone so kind and helpful and nothing is never an issue. Big thanks to Luke at getting things sorted quicker near the end and I cannot believe I am now debt free.” J Downey (Newry)

“It all started with a phone call from a strange number that I was reluctant to answer but am thankful I did. My IVA was sorted in a few weeks after struggling for years. You have been lifesavers and a massive weight has been lifted from me. Thank you thank you thank you.” B Lowry (Belfast)

“Just wanted to say a big thanks to you for getting my finances back on track I couldn’t have done it without your assistance. Thanks again to Craig I would highly recommend him for advice if you are struggling with your debts.” J Jamison (Cookstown)

“A great organisation with non-judgemental staff. They listened to my concerns and worries and alleviated the stress that I had. From day one everything went smoothly. Thanks to all the team for your help.” M Rodgers (Bangor)

What do Get Help With Debt deliver for their clients?

Lenders listen to advisers, negotiators and facilitators they respect. If the debtor’s case is made to them by professionals who have proven knowledge, they will do business.

Lenders know that a Get Help With Debt settlement proposal is only made after a thorough examination of all the facts.

Lenders want the issue resolved as much as you do. Get Help With Debt never makes judgments as we are all human and everyone makes mistakes! It’s how you fix those mistakes that matters.

We are Financial Conduct Authority regulated and if you find yourself in debt stress have a no obligation chat with one of our experienced advisors today on 02890 393626.

13 Tips for Getting out of Debt

It’s so easy to get into debt these days – it’s frightening.

Figures announced in May (www.themoneycharity.org.uk) show that the average total debt per household in the UK, including mortgages, was £59,713, while people as a whole in the UK owed £1,637 billion at the end of April.

Most people experience problem debts at some point in their lives, and it can be difficult to get the situation back under control if you don’t get a handle on it.

But there are ways of cutting back to get your debt under control.

Here are thirteen tips from www.gethelpwithdebt.co.uk to get yourself out of debt.

1 Consolidate and transfer your debts

Taking out yet another loan to deal with your debts might not seem like the best idea in the world, but by consolidating all your debts to a single credit card or other loan may be precisely what you need, provided that you do so responsibly.

If you have a decent credit score, you should be able to sign up for a credit card that offers 0% interest on balance transfers.

This way, you won’t have to pay any interest on your debts for a period of time, provided that you pay everything off within the given timeframe. But you will be charged a fee to do this and if you don’t pay off your debts within the 0% period, the total amount you owe will increase.

If you are looking for free advice call 02890 393626 to speak to one of our advisors.

2 Cancel your credit cards

As soon as you have consolidated and transferred all of your debts onto a balance transfer credit card, it is a good idea to cancel any other credit cards that you have.

By getting rid of your credit cards, it should be easier to avoid spending in the future, and you’ll likely save on interest fees as well.

A credit card can be financially beneficial if used correctly, but if used irresponsibly your debts could spiral out of control.

3 Resist impulse buying

Impulse buying is the enemy – don’t ever forget that! You should take impulse buying into account when you start your saving strategy.

If you see something that you want, determine whether your budget allows it, and start saving as required.

Most importantly, avoid buying anything on credit, even if it is interest-free for a given amount of time.

4 Make sure you have a spending plan

Having a spending plan isn’t quite the same thing as budgeting, and you can usually provide yourself with a modest reward each month when you stick to the plan.

Everyone’s spending plan will differ, but the first thing you have do is to know your disposable income that you have left over after your monthly expenses and setting some of it aside for later.

5 Prioritise your debts

Some people increase all their minimum payments by just a little bit, but that way your payments only drop by a small amount each month. You can make more noticeable progress by making a making a big payment to just one of your accounts each month until that debt is completely repaid.

In the meantime, make the minimum on all your other accounts. Then do the same for another debt, and another until they’re all paid off.

6 Have an emergency fund

Your debt can quickly spiral out of control to the point that there’s no more money available left to borrow when it comes to paying an unforeseen bill.

Whether it’s an emergency repair for your home or car, a parking fine or anything else, we recommend you have some money saved up to bail you out of what can quickly become a disastrous situation.

However, instead of relying on a credit card or bank account overdraft, start saving up right away in preparation for that rainy day.

7 Seek out a debt management plan

In severe cases, you may need to turn to a formal debt management plan. Debt management plans are typically negotiated by a third party.

You can only opt for a debt management plan for debts that are not secured against property.

A debt management plan is an agreement between a debtor and a creditor that addresses the terms of an outstanding debt.

DMP help reduce outstanding, unsecured debts over time to help the debtor regain control of their finances. The process can secure a lower overall interest rate, longer repayment terms, or an overall reduction in the debt itself.

Consider an IVA

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement (or IVA), is a fixed term form of debt help, consisting of a repayment plan, allowing those with serious debt problems the opportunity to settle the outstanding balances to their creditors.

IVAs are available to all people who live in Northern Ireland, England or Wales, who are insolvent and are seeking to protect themselves and their assets from the threat of legal action and bankruptcy.

Once an IVA has been approved by creditors they are legally obligated to cease all legal action and freeze all interest or late payment charges.

With a predetermined ‘fixed’ repayment period (usually 60 months), an IVA enables the applicant to make payments based on affordability rather than their contractual obligations. However if you have access to third party funds, an IVA can be completed within six months.

On successful completion of the IVA, the creditors are legally obliged to write-off any outstanding debt, leaving the applicant completely free of all the debts included in the IVA.

If you are looking for free advice on an IVA contact one of our advisors on 02890 393626.

9 Cut your outgoings

A few small changes can make a big change to your monthly outgoings.

There are many small ways to save money, but some of the most effective include turning down your thermostat, upgrading to energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances and not leaving things on standby.

Also shop around for a better deal on your utility bills, internet and phone connection and mobile service provider.

10 Take on some extra work

Increasing your income could be worth looking into. Even a very modest increase in your income might help.

If doing a few extra hours in your day job isn’t an option, you could consider a part-time weekend or evening job. If this is done over a short-term period it could be a quick way to pay off your debts.

11 Positive attitude

If you’ve been saving for a while and it feels like you’re not making much headway. Don’t panic!! If you’ve settled into a regular saving habit, you’re doing a great job, but you have to stick at it.

It’s about sticking to it consistently without losing focus on the financial targets you have set yourself.

12 Change your mindset

Don’t feel like you’re being deprived but be proud of what you’re accomplishing and keep building long term and keep setting small goals that you can hit.

Replace the feeling of ‘missing out’ with the ‘opportunity to save’. Try to focus on how far you’ve come and not how far you have to go.

13 Boosting your credit score

Don’t forget to continue checking your credit score and keeping an eye on where you can improve your score.

Remember that regular credit payments that will help build good credit when it comes to getting a mortgage. So use it to build your credit rating, but try to have paid it off six months before you intend to apply for a mortgage.

But if your debt worry is too much and you are looking for an urgent solution to your debt crisis, Get Help With Debt (part of the CD Fairfield Capital Group) operates under the regulatory framework of the Financial Conduct Authority and the Chartered Accountants Regulatory Board which offers you the highest degree of protection and peace of mind.

Every client receives a bespoke, personally tailored service and proposal that meets their specific needs. It also meets the criteria of their lender.

We have developed a strong insight and relationships with all the main UK lenders, due to our transparency and consistent approach.

We offer a range of services that have a track record of successful outcomes that is unmatched in our sector.

If you find yourself in debt stress have a no obligation chat with one of our experienced advisors today on 028 9039 3626.

Landlord Debt Advisory: Case Settlement Process

Following on from my previous post where I introduced CD Fairfield Capital as a company and our property debt resolutions brands, my next posts are case studies, real-life client situations we have dealt with and resolved.

Our Professional Landlord client approached us via our www.landlorddebtadvisory.com website for property debt solutions. For the sake of anonymity, we shall call him Bob. Bob had overextended his borrowing,  purchasing 35 properties since 2004, refinancing several times to raise deposit funds for further purchases and so on. The challenges he was facing were:

  • Interest rate rises (2x 0.25% Bank of England rate rises since we initially took instruction – all mortgages on variable rates
  • The financial impact of Section 24 taxation;
  • Bob’s age, 53 – all mortgages were interest-only with varying expiry dates (2019 – 2031); there were no repayment vehicles in place
  • Miscellaneous costs such as rental void periods, repairs and maintenance, management fees and charges

The Financials;

Portfolio Value:                                                                        £5.12m

Outstanding Debt:                                                                  £5.93m

Expected Shortfall/Negative Equity:                           £810,000

Total Debt Written Off:                                                        £696,000

Total Settlement:                                                                      £114,000

There was a combination of properties with equity and those in significant negative equity.

Bob told us the catalyst for contacting us was a combination of unplanned repair bills and the realisation that any further interest rate rises deemed the portfolio unprofitable as his cash-flow position was already precarious (up until that point it had always made a profit, albeit a rather modest one).

There was also a serious concern for the family home. This property is also mortgaged, owned jointly with Bob’s wife and has significant equity.

Once instructed, we completed a detailed review to include:

  • Recalling all lender documentation (15 lenders) to review security
  • Completing a detailed Statement of Affairs and reviewing all relevant client documentation
  • Portfolio Valuation – 35 individual reports

After concluding this work the following was clear:

  • As Bob had suspected the portfolio was untenable; despite there being some cash available, any combination of the challenges highlighted would quickly absorb this reserve.
  • Some lenders had the right to consolidate against the equity in other properties if sold.
  • This venture would become loss-making Q4 2018 or Q1 2019, and significantly so.

The recommendation was made that all properties were to be sold with the exception of the family home (this is not always the case). The Move With Us network was appointed to address the asset management element of the case (various agents and locations through England and Wales) to commence in line with each lender’s specification.

As the majority of the properties were tenanted, management contract extensions were agreed (where applicable) to ensure consistency with incoming rent, and the properties marketed.

While marketing was ongoing, we provided all lender representation for Bob. Further to this a bespoke shortfall settlement package was offered and accepted on a pari passu basis amongst the lenders (in this case an IVA); the highlights being:

  • Bob retained his family home; we negotiated new terms with his existing lender on a full repayment basis (had previously been interest-only)
  • Bob avoided bankruptcy
  • The equity from the properties sold above the loan value formed part of the settlement (£74,000)
  • Bob also added £40,000 – a combination of his own savings and gifted funds from family to this sum ie total settlement paid £114,000, total debt written off £696,000
  • Our total fee for this work was £37,500 (typical fee for addressing a single property and settlement is £4,000; average shortfall debt write-off is £70,000+)
  • The timeframe from instruction to conclusion circa 18 months

The above case type is common. We receive dozens of enquiries per week from Landlords with similar circumstances and varying portfolio sizes, geographical locations and levels of equity. It’s often the case that the Landlord has already spoken to the lender(s), the Accountant, a Financial Adviser, Solicitor and/or an Insolvency Practitioner unfamiliar with the intricacies of individual lender shortfall policy.

We are the ONLY company of our type in the UK with the expertise, regulation, lender relationships and track record to complete complex, multi-faceted cases of this type in a commercial and client-focused manner.

Are you in Negative Equity? We can help!

There is a considerable amount of misinformation surrounding property debt and negative equity. The aim of this and subsequent articles is to provide an overview of how we have been assisting homeowners and landlords with property debt issues since 2012.

CD Fairfield was formed by Philip Davison (MD), and Tom Caldwell as a reaction to the fallout from the unprecedented property crash in Northern Ireland in 2008. At the time it was estimated that approximately 60,000 properties had mortgages greater than their value. The Council of Mortgage Lenders estimated the negative equity total to be circa £2.5billion.

Of course, this isn’t an issue for everyone in negative equity, but for those who need to sell for financial reasons or otherwise, many found themselves in a “bad debt” situation for the first time in their lives, and through no fault of their own.

The “party line” from Lenders and Government Agencies was to speak to your lender. I can tell you from significant experience that in many cases that is the last thing a borrower should ever do!

It was clear that a bespoke mediation service was required to take borrowers by the hand to not only guide them through this minefield but provide full representation, an end-to-end solution.

As well an being authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority we have an in-house Insolvency Practitioner, who is a member of the Chartered Accountants of Ireland and R3 (The Association of Business Recovery Professionals). We also have Senior Management who holds membership of the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association.

With these associations and levels of regulation, we have the full suite of debt solutions under one roof which includes:

  • Mortgage re-negotiations (with the existing lender)
  • Mortgage Mis-selling Claims
  • Informal/Negotiated Settlements
  • IVA (Individual Voluntary Arrangement)
  • Bankruptcy

We also recognised that there were a number of distinct differences based on whether we were helping homeowners or Landlords in Northern Ireland or in mainland UK. This being the case variations in brand were created as follows:

Negative Equity UK

Negative Equity NI

Landlord Debt Advisory

Get Help With Debt

What sort of results does Negative Equity UK achieve? This is a snapshot of some settled cases: Settled Cases

Our independent Client Review show an approval rating of 4.8/5.00

Securing successful outcomes for clients is front and centre in all that we do. How do we do this?

  • Developing and maintaining excellent working relationships with lenders
  • Recruiting highly competent staff from the legal, accountancy, insolvency, banking and financial services sectors
  • Continual investment in systems and people
  • We listen to our clients and implement constant improvement based on feedback

If you are looking to sell house in negative equity or for negative equity help call us today on 0161 660 4403 and see how we can help.

 

 

 

Struggling With Debts In Belfast? Make 2019 The Year You Get Your Finances Back On Track.

Debt is a normal part of most people’s personal finances. Everyone relies on credit cards, over drafts, personal loans and mortgages at some point in their lives. Whether you’re renovating your house, paying for a holiday or just tiding yourself over until payday, everyone borrows.

For some people, however, debts can become unmanageable. Sometimes a pay cut or losing a job can make your repayments unaffordable. Sometimes low wages lead to chronic debt you can’t escape from.

Often people find their debt situation gets worse at the start of the New Year. Christmas spending on credit and store cards can add to existing debts, leaving you owing more than usual.

If this situation sounds familiar to you, then we can help. At Get Help With Debt, we can help you to write off thousands of pounds in debt and provide you with a range of options for dealing with the remainder.

For some clients a debt management plan might be what they need to get to grips with their debt. With a debt management plan, you will only have one monthly payment to make and you will only pay what you can afford until your debts have been cleared.

For others, an individual voluntary arrangement, or IVA, might be the best option. An IVA is a legally binding agreement between you and your lender and could make you debt free in as little as five years. We’ll stop your creditors from calling or writing to you to demand payments and freeze any late fees or charges you’ve incurred.

For a few clients, self-petition bankruptcy might be necessary. You will have to put any available disposable income you have towards this for three years, but you won’t have to deal with your creditors anymore and once your bankruptcy is completed you will be able to start fresh.

So, if you’re living in Northern Ireland and struggling with debt, whether your credit cards have gotten out of control, store cards are mounting up or you have a mortgage you just can’t afford, we can help you. Go online to www.gethelpwithdebt.co.uk and take our free online debt assessment or request a call back to discuss your situation and take the first step to becoming debt free.

Rising Household Debt Poses Risk To UK Economy.

Rising household debt, combined with stagnant wages, poses a major threat to the UK economy, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

The OECD warned that personal loans such as credit cards presented a much greater risk of default compared to mortgages and said that worsening economic conditions could make repayments unaffordable for many borrowers.

The Paris based think tank said it expected UK growth to be the lowest of the G7 economies and that this will constrain wage growth, putting more pressure on already strained household finances.

It called for tougher affordability checks to be introduced to stop banks from lending to customers who might struggle with repayments, to prevent the banks from running into trouble should they be faced with a higher default rate.

The UK’s unsecured debt on credit cards, store cards, personal loans and car finance deals reached £200 billion this year, the same level it was at just before the 2008 financial crisis.

We can help.

If you’re one of those people struggling with unmanageable store card debt, there are options, however.At Get Help With Debt, we can write off thousands of pounds in debt and help you to manage the remainder, so it’s affordable for you.

Go online to our website and take our free online assessment, then book your free, no obligation consultation with one of our debt advisors to find out how we can help you.

Once you’ve met with your advisor we can present you with a range of bespoke solutions and you can make an informed decision about what approach is best for you. After that we do all the hard work, handling all third party communications for you, so you don’t have to deal with your lender anymore.So, go to www.gethelpwithdebt.co.uk and start the process of becoming debt free.

What is Negative Equity and why is it a problem?

Around the UK, many homeowners have found themselves trapped in negative equity since the property crash and recession ten years ago, but many people don’t know what negative equity is or how it can affect them and their finances.

Put very simply, ‘negative equity’ means that the value of something against which a loan was secured is now less than the outstanding balance. In the United Kingdom and Ireland, it is a term applied almost exclusively to property debt.

In the past, bricks and mortar were popularly seen as a safe investment, guaranteed to gain in value.Similarly, it was accepted that other things depreciated in value, often quite significantly. The market value of a car might drop by 20-30% as soon as it is driven out of the showroom. People understand this and factor this loss of value into their calculations whenever they decided to make an expensive purchase.

But property? That was different. Or, at least, so most people thought.

The recession which hit the UK in 2008 saw the value of many properties plummet. This left those who had taken out loans based on the pre-recession worth of their homes, with debts greater than the post-crash value of their property.

If, in 2006 to ‘07 when the British and Irish property booms were at their peaks, a buyer took a mortgage of £210,000 for a house, today valued at £140,000, they have a problem as selling their home will still leave them with a significant shortfall, which they will still have to pay back.

This is the main problem with negative equity, in addition to this significant loss, the amount raised from a sale at this stage would be insufficient to clear the outstanding debt to the bank of building society.

In the current climate those who have suffered are the borrowers who, in the days of ‘easy money’, took out loans of 90%-100% of the property’s value. From the outset, they were most at risk in the event of any fall in the value of property.

We can Help.

There are a number of possible solutions we can offer to resolve your property debt problems, depending on your circumstances, but for many of our clients a sale and settlement is the only solution to their problem.

We have successfully negotiated hundreds of cases every year where we have arranged the sale of our clients’ homes and reached an affordable debt settlement with the lender.

For other clients remortgaging might be their best option and, in some cases, we might pursue an individual voluntary arrangement, or IVA. This is a legal agreement between you and your lender and is suitable for people who have debts with multiple lenders.

Whatever your circumstances, the first step to dealing with your property debt is to contact Negative Equity UK for an initial free, no obligation consultation with one of our advisors.

Take a look at our reviews and call us on 0161 631 2727 or go to our website and arrange for us to call you at a time that suits you.

We offer solutions for unaffordable property debt.

At Negative Equity UK, when we meet our clients for the first time, they often tell us that they believe their situation is hopeless and they do not think there’s any way out of their debt situation. Many are worried that their debts will inevitable force them to go bankrupt.

There are, however, a range of solutions that can be pursued in order to deal with a property in negative equity. Once we have completed an initial consultation with our clients, we can begin to plan the best course of action for dealing with you problem debt.

Informal settlement.

For the majority of our clients, the best option available is usually a negotiated settlement with their lender. This involves the borrower selling the property and our team negotiating with the lender to write off as much of the shortfall from the sale as possible. This leaves our client with an agreed, affordable amount to repay either in instalments or as a single lump sum payment depending on what makes the most financial sense for them.

We often find that our clients are sceptical that a bank would agree to write down debt, but there are good reasons for them to do this. Repossessing a property and then paying someone to sell it for them is a long and expensive process for the bank and they rarely get the full market value for the house, so agreeing a settlement is often the best option for both parties.

An Individual Voluntary Arrangement.

An individual voluntary arrangement (IVA) is a legal agreement between you and your creditors. IVAs are a possible solution we would examine where a borrower owes money to multiple creditors.

Most types of debt can be included in an IVA, including mortgage debt, credit card debt, unpaid council tax or money owed to HMRC. An IVA might also be worth discussing if you own multiple properties with mortgages from different lenders, or you have unsecured debt from several creditors.

Once a settlement is agreed with your lenders it can be paid as a five year payment plan, known as a contribution IVA, or, if you can afford it, as a single lump sum.

Remortgage/restructure.

For most of our clients, it won’t be a good idea to try to resolve their debt problems by taking on more debt, in a few cases, however, it can be possible to deal with property debt by remortgaging.

While not suitable for everyone, restructuring your mortgage is an option that we might consider with clients who are struggling financially due to unexpected changes in their circumstances, such as a change in your work situation, if you have been made redundant, retired or had your hours reduced, or if your family is growing.We have successfully negotiated with many of our clients’ lenders to extend their mortgage term, allowing them to stay in the home they had worked so hard to secure.

What do our clients say?

One of our recent clients, Kerry, said this after we completed her case; “The service provided by Negative Equity was excellent. Despite all of my concerns and fears about the process they really went out of their way to provide excellent guidance and advice. They took their time explaining in detail the process, no question was left unanswered. My negative equity of £97,000 was reduced to £14,000 final payment. I can’t thank them enough.”

Contact Us Now.

We have successfully negotiated hundreds of cases every year where we have arranged the sale of our clients’ homes and reached an affordable debt settlement with the lender. Whatever the situation we will offer you a bespoke solution based on your own personal circumstances. The first step to dealing with your property debt is to contact Negative Equity UK for an initial free, no obligation consultation with one of our advisors.

Take a look at the rest of our reviews and call us on 0161 631 2727 or go to our website and arrange for us to call you at a time that suits you.

Universal Credit continuing to hit landlords’ finances.

The roll out of the government’s flagship benefit reform is causing financial difficulties for landlords as tenants receiving Universal Credit struggle to budget for rent and face delays in payments.

Universal Credit is intended to simplify the existing benefits system by consolidating a range of benefits, including housing benefit, into a single monthly payment. Previously housing benefit was paid directly to a renter’s landlord, but under the new system recipients are intended to be in control of their own money.

However, lengthy waiting times before an applicant can receive their first payment, administrative issues and problems budgeting for priority expenses, such as rent, has led to many people receiving Universal Credit falling into arrears.

According to the Residential Landlords Association, 38% of landlords with tenants receiving Universal Credit are owed rent, an increase of 10% on last year.

In an interview with the Guardian, one Croydon based landlord has revealed that she has been left with £9,500 in arrears after a tenant on Universal Credit was unable to keep up with their payments.

The landlord, who preferred not to be identified by her real name, said the council who arranged the tenancy had given her assurances that the rent would be covered by housing benefit. In January, however, the tenant was switched to Universal Credit and rent payments ceased.

Since then she has been unable to recover the arrears owed to her, leaving her £9,500 in debt.Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, said; “Underlying all the problems with Universal Credit is the freeze on housing benefit rates, which means that the housing element of Universal Credit is simply insufficient for many tenants to be able to cover their rent.”

How can we help you?

At Landlord Debt Advisory, we offer bespoke solutions for landlords with problem debts. If you’re a landlord struggling with negative equity, under performing properties or the impact of recent tax changes such as Section 24, contact Landlord Debt Advisory for an initial free, no obligation consultation.

After we resolved his case, one of our recent clients said; “We contacted Landlord Debt Advisory as a buy to let property purchased in the housing boom left us with negative equity.“They dealt with our case very professionally and efficiently from start to finish. They had an in depth knowledge of what options were available to us and provided us with advice on the best option to take.

“They dealt directly with the lender and provided us with regular updates on the progress of the case. We got a great result in the end which has alleviated a lot of stress caused by being in negative equity.”

Check out our reviews and all us on 0161 222 4311, or go to our website and start the process of dealing with your debt.